After a break for vacation, I’m back with a new post (finally!)
There aren’t many things in this world I enjoy more than a hot breakfast. Maybe it’s because my job and my life mean that I can only do a regular, sit-down style hot breakfast on rare occasions. Work starts too early in the morning on the weekdays and weekends are often too busy to take the time. Hot breakfast is usually relegated to vacation time or the occasional breakfast for dinner (which I do enjoy almost as much).
Such was the case last week. We were off to our annual late summer vacation. Since our daughter isn’t old enough for school yet, we can still take advantage of a vacation the week after Labor Day while the weather is nice but the crowds have died down a bit. I usually try to find a place for us to stay where I’ve got a fully functional kitchen. For me, vacation is not just a time to get away from the usual rigors of life, but a time when I can spend a bit more time preparing meals or baking some recipe I’ve wanted to try. Since this was vacation, and I had the time, it was hot breakfasts every day.
One of the recipes I’ve had my eye on for a long time is the puff pancake. I had a recipe by Gale Gand that I got from the Food Network called ‘Big Apple Pancakes’. They sounded really good and I’ve been waiting for a chance to try this. This pancake gets baked in the oven and looks really cool when you pull it out.
Puff pancakes have a flavor and texture that makes them part omelet and part pancake, though this is definitely a sweet rather than a savory dish. Puff pancakes are often served on a large plate with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a dusting of powdered sugar and may contain (or not contain) a variety of different fillings. I chose apple for my pancake as I happened to have them on hand and because I love just about anything apple.
Typically, these pancakes are prepared in a cast iron skillet and then tossed in the oven to finish baking, where they experience a big rise, thus giving them the ‘puff’ appearance in the finished pancake. I didn’t have an oven safe skillet with me on vacation, so I precooked the apples in a regular skillet and finished the pancake in an 8×8 Pyrex baking dish. Everything went of without a hitch and my square pancake came out of the oven much taller than when I put it in.
I didn’t have any lemon to finish the pancake, and I decided not to sprinkle it with powdered sugar as there was already plenty of sugar in the base recipe.
How was it? Very good. The apples were cooked all the way through and it had a good balance of tart and sweet with the apples paired with a very delicate and tasty batter. There was enough here to feed 4 people (or 2 if they’re hungry). This is definitely a recipe I’ll be making again when I have time for another hot breakfast. Want to give it a try yourself? I’ve posted a copy of the recipe here. Click on any image below to get a closer look at the step by step photos.